Indeed a very difficult question to answer and to be fair there is actually no right answer to this. Different circumstances and situations beckons different leadership roles at different times. The person who is able to mould herself accordingly, most of the times is eventually called a good leader and at times a great leader. However, having said this, there are a few qualities which have been identified with good leaders after studying various leaders and their leadership styles. Most of these qualities have been common in those who have proven to be good leaders in the past.
A leader’s prime role is to set the vision. She must provide a compelling vision of the future which must inspire people to work towards it. More important than creating that vision is to make sure the leader sells the vision to her people. She must motivate the people to own up the vision and deliver.
Nobody will believe in a person if the person does not exudes confidence. Self-confidence is built over a period of time by mastering skills and situations needed to deliver each and every time you are called to do a job. One of the best ways to improve confidence is to list down your achievements and the skills you used to make it a success.
One of the most valuable of possessions for a leader. A leader cannot compromise integrity at any point of time. It can be the biggest setback for her organization and the team she leads. It can break apart the team and morale of her people. A leader who shows exemplary integrity is respected by seniors, juniors and peers alike.
At times organized also means setting your priorities right. A leader will always have multiple tasks on her hands, she will have to wear multiple hats at times but if she is organized and sets her priorities right, most of the tasks do seem like a cakewalk. If a leader is organized she gets more work done with the same available time and that may set her apart from an ordinary leader.
Very often good leaders are extremely articulate and good public speakers. They have the ability to convince and motivate their teams. However public speaking comes with practice and the best way to start is to prepare beforehand and be crisp, slow, clear and direct while communicating with the team.
Good leaders tend to create, nurture and value relationships above everything else. They make genuine relationships with their team, associates, customers and others in their minds and hearts and work hard towards nurturing that relationship.
Passion and Hard Work
Most of the good leaders are passionate about what they do and it is often reflected in the number of hours they put in their work. A leader tries to lead by example and what better example than hard work and true passion to lead a team.
As I said before the role of leadership is extremely customized, depending on the changing situation and times. A leader needs to be timeless and dynamic in synch with the changing world. But a leader cannot stand alone, she needs to build a team which will support the vision she has set. A good leader, creates a team, creates and sells her vision to the team and shows exemplary qualities at all times for the team to follow.